National Policy Forum 2020: Housing, Local Government and Transport

ASLEF's submission to the National Policy Forum Consultation 2020 on Housing, Local Government and Transport
  1. The Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen (ASLEF) is the UK’s largest train drivers’ union, representing over 20,000 members in train operating companies and freight companies as well as London Underground and light rail systems, and, as one of the Labour Party’s founding unions, has been affiliated to the Party since its creation.

  2. ASLEF has long in support of bringing decision making as close as possible to the people the decisions affect. This means empowering - including equitably resourcing - devolved authorities and local councils to decide how money is spent in their local areas.

  3. ASLEF’s policy for the railway is for it to be in public ownership, with a national ‘guiding mind’ (as proposed in Labour’s 2019 General Election manifesto) along with decisions taken locally where local communities will know what is best. Decisions on the railway and regarding other public services should also be made collaboratively with communities rather than dictated to them.

  4. The union is in support of working within communities to understand their needs and empower everyone to have a say in the way their services are operated.

  5. Funding and resources for services and projects in local areas must also be distributed fairly and equitably. This must mean that social good rather than just financial return on investment is considered when funding decisions are made.

  6. The current government’s priority of getting financial return on everything it spends means that already-prosperous areas and services are likely to receive more and more funding and become better and better, while those areas in desperate need of improvement may miss out due to their lack of current economic performance.

  7. As collaborative organisations, trade unions are well placed to understand the way decisions can be made at a local level and then brought together to drive high-level decision making on a collective basis. ASLEF believes that this is a good model for public services. Publicly owned and operated services should be co-produced and delivered with communities in order to maximise democratic buy-in and optimal outcomes.